Archive for the ‘Pink Link’ Category

Your Donations at Work: Penn State Hershey’s Dr. Craig Meyers Publishes Results of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Study

Posted By on May 15th, 2015 at 8:30 am | 0 comments.

Dr-Meyers-and-BoardThe research of Dr. Craig Meyers and his team at Penn State College of Medicine, which was funded by the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, has been published in Cancer Biology and Therapy. They have determined that a virus not known to cause disease kills triple-negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice. Understanding how the virus kills cancer may lead to new treatments for breast cancer.

Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) infects humans but is not known to cause sickness. In prior studies, the researchers tested the virus on a variety of breast cancers that represent degrees of aggressiveness and on human papillomavirus-positive cervical cancer cells. The virus initiated apoptosis — natural cell death — in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.
“Treatment of breast cancer remains difficult because there are multiple signaling pathways that promote tumor growth and develop resistance to treatment,” said Craig Meyers, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.
Signaling pathways involve molecules in a cell that control cell functions — like cell division — by cooperation. For example, the first molecule in the process receives a signal to begin. It then tells another molecule to work, and so on.
Treatment of breast cancer differs by patient due to differences in tumors. Some tumors contain protein receptors that are activated by the hormones estrogen or progesterone. Others respond to another protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or HER2. Each of these is treated differently.
A triple-negative breast cancer does not have any of these protein receptors and is typically aggressive.
“There is an urgent and ongoing need for the development of novel therapies which efficiently target triple-negative breast cancers,” Meyers said.
In the current study, the researchers tested AAV2 on a cell-line representative of triple-negative breast cancer. The researchers report their results in Cancer Biology & Therapy.
The AAV2 killed 100 percent of the cells in the laboratory by activating proteins called caspases, which are essential for the cell’s natural death. In addition, consistent with past studies, AAV2-infected cancer cells produced more Ki-67, an immunity system activating protein and c-Myc, a protein that helps both to increase cell growth and induce apoptosis. The cancer cell growth slowed by day 17 and all cells were dead by day 21. AAV2 mediated cell killing of multiple breast cancer cell lines representing both low and high grades of cancer and targeted the cancer cells independent of hormone or growth factor classification.
The researchers then injected AAV2 into human breast cancer cell line-derived tumors in mice without functioning immune systems. Mice that received AAV2 outlived the untreated mice and did not show signs of being sick, unlike the untreated mice. Tumor sizes decreased in the treated mice, areas of cell death were visible, and all AAV2 treated mice survived through the study, a direct contrast to the untreated mice.
“These results are significant, since tumor necrosis — or death — in response to therapy is also used as the measure of an effective chemotherapeutic,” Meyers said.
Future studies should look at the use of AAV2 body-wide in mice, which would better model what happens in humans.
Other researchers on this project are Samina Alam, research associate, Penn State; Brian Bowser, PPD Vaccines and Biologics Laboratory; Mohd Israr, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; and Michael Conway, Central Michigan University College of Medicine.
The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition funded this research.

To read the complete article online, click here.


32-Year Survivor Looks Back, Shares Advice to Young Women

Posted By on May 15th, 2015 at 8:30 am | 0 comments.

Doris Rogers, Wayne County

Things have changed a bit since I was diagnosed with breast cancer 32 yDoris-Rogers-for-PLears ago. Now they do radiation, and I don’t think that was prevalent then. I had a lump that I found myself and I watched it for a few months. I had a mastectomy on December 30, 1982, and a month later I started on chemotherapy. I took methotrexate and cytoxan, and then tamoxifen for five years. I was in a study with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.

At that time my husband Bill and I had a variety store on Main Street. I like numbers and I did all the bookwork for the store, which we owned for 22 years. We had five children and 10 grandchildren.  I’ll be 87 years old in a few weeks. My daughters are very aware and I know they get their mammograms on time. They always did.
For fun and relaxation, I like to do crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, read, and watch movies on TV. I’ve been a member of the Women’s Club of Honesdale now for 60 years. We have a big antique show and I serve as treasurer of that. And I volunteer at the gift shop of the hospital auxiliary. I’m treasurer of the Wayne Memorial Hospital gift shop. When the Women’s Club of Honesdale started in 1939 we had 200 people who met in the afternoons and the ladies came to the meetings in hats and white gloves.
Now, I would advise anyone, not just breast cancer survivors, to keep busy and get involved.
I’m happy to represent Wayne County in the PBCC photo exhibit. My daughters have gone to different locations where it’s been displayed and I think they are proud to see me in it.

Think Spring, Think Pink! Stauffers to Hold Annual Pink Day for the PBCC June 6

Posted By on May 15th, 2015 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

stauffers-pink-day-previewSpringtime means gardening, planting, mulching and PINK DAY at Stauffers of Kissel Hill Garden Centers! Join us on Saturday, June 6th at all 8 locations in Central PA for this 4th annual event! The fun runs all day, with a bake sale, educational info from PBCC (10am-2pm), and your chance to win a pink garden from Stauffers of Kissel Hill! Additionally, 2% of all sales on Pink Day will go to support PBCC’s programs and services for breast cancer survivors in PA!

Stop by to grab your gardening essentials on Saturday, June 6th and make a difference in the lives of women facing breast cancer in your community! Find out all the details here.

Erie Area Survivors: Apply for Grants through Linked By Pink

Posted By on May 15th, 2015 at 8:28 am | 0 comments.

Linked-By-PinkLinked By Pink is a nonprofit organization providing assistance to younger breast cancer patients. Traditionally, Linked By Pink serves women who were diagnosed under the age of 45; however, that age limit is temporarily extended to women under 55. If you fit the age requirement and live within a 45-mile radius of Erie, you are welcome to apply for financial help through one of their grant programs. The grants offered cover medical, travel, or living expenses. Gas cards are available for travel to medical appointments, and rent, mortgage, and utility payments are paid directly to the provider. Further details about eligibility and the application forms are at

File your Taxes, Fight Breast Cancer: Penn Researcher Focused on HER2+ Breast Cancer Wins $50,000 PBCC Grant

Posted By on April 15th, 2015 at 8:39 am | 676 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

You… yes, YOU can make a difference this time every year. I’m talking about the choices you make when filing your taxes. On Line 32, you can choose to donate your state income tax refund directly to breast cancer researchers in Pennsylvania who are working to find a cure. It’s part of the PBCC’s Refunds for Breast Cancer Research initiative.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Xianxin Hua, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute working on treatments for HER2+ breast cancer. The PBCC awarded Dr. Hua with a $50,000 grant to build progress and advancements in the lab. Dr. Hua is one of three grant winners this year. Drs. Alessandro Fatatis and Mauricio Reginato of the Drexel University College of Medicine also received Refunds for Research funding.

Maybe you already have made a difference this tax season. If you have, on behalf of the thousands of women and families touched by breast cancer, I thank you. You are providing hope and much-needed support for the brilliant minds at work in laboratories across the state!


YOU can make a real difference this tax season. Donate your state income tax refund to breast cancer research by choosing “Option A” on Line 32. Help us continue our fight against breast cancer! For more information on the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program, visit

Erie Survivor Moved to Make a Difference Through Love of Music

Posted By on April 15th, 2015 at 8:38 am | 649 comments.

Elisa-Guida-for-PlI’m very independent and didn’t want any help the first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago. I learned that was really not the way to go and the second time, 10 years ago, I welcomed help from my friends. I had started having mammograms at the age of 35 because I had cystic fibroid breasts and thought I’d never be able to find a lump myself. At 40 a mammogram detected a cluster of micro calcifications.

The first time I had stage 0, had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal. The cancer was back six years later but it went undiagnosed because I had a stereotactic biopsy at 1:00 o’clock but the cancer was at the 12:00 o’clock point. When I got the right diagnosis at year 10, I had two different kinds of cancer. I had DCIS stage 1 and I also had a tubular cancer which is quite rare.

I knew if my cancer came back, that I would have to have a mastectomy.  After doing research about reconstructing a radiated breast area, I was 99 % sure that I was NOT going to have reconstruction, but I met with the plastic surgeon anyway. There was no advantage to having reconstruction at the time of surgery vs. years later, if I would choose to do that. I also visited a prosthetics provider so that I could see and feel prosthesis.  After all of that I decided NOT to have reconstruction and never looked back and that was 10 years ago.

The mastectomy was easier for me than the lumpectomy had been. I had the mastectomy on Monday, was home on Tuesday, and out grocery shopping on Friday.

I am a custom jeweler and have a love of music and was at one point commissioned to create a guitar string bracelet. Then in 2008 my husband and I went to a Bon Jovi concert and I had the inspiration to get famous artists to give me their guitar strings. I created the nonprofit StringsforaCURE® in 2010. The jewelry made from those strings is what got everyone interested in the charity’s programs and fundraisers. And Jon Bon Jovi is among the many artists who have donated strings. Over 900 pieces have been made and are being worn all over the world.

Baseball is BACK: Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer with the PBCC this June!

Posted By on April 15th, 2015 at 8:34 am | 682 comments.

Derby for April PLSwing batter, batter swing… for the fences! We hope you will join us this June at the PBCC’s Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby in Harrisburg and Lancaster.  Bring your family, friends and biggest fans to the stadium and help us find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to.  Have what it takes?  Want to bat or volunteer?

At a home run derby, individual batters or teams of batters take swings in a professional ballpark of their choice.  We have 2 registration levels this year:
$30 – Silver Slugger
– each Silver Slugger receives 10 swings and an official 2015 derby swag bag

$125 – All Star
– each All Star batter receives 15 swings, an official 2015 derby swag bag and jersey

Each swing is scored based on where the ball lands on the field (or 100 points if it’s outta here!). Prizes go to batters with the highest average and to our highest fundraisers at each stadium.  We’re also looking for volunteers!

Harrisburg registration button  Lancaster registration button

Better hit the batting cages.  We want to see YOU at the plate this June as we Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer!

The Cold Cap: Keeping your Hair During Chemo

Posted By on April 15th, 2015 at 8:28 am | 653 comments.

chemo-cap-associated-press-for-plWhen it comes to the side effects of breast cancer treatment, many women fear losing their hair the most. A popular new process could stop that from happening. Cancer patients are opting for the chemo “cold cap.” What is it? It’s a cap you wear during treatment and a few hours after that freezes the scalp and stops hair from falling out.

A study at the University of California, San Francisco monitored 100 women who received chemotherapy and used a cooling cap.  Results have not been published, but studies did show that a majority of the women kept most of their hair.  How does it work? The cold cap reduces chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss) by cooling the hair capillaries and reducing the metabolic rate of the hair follicles to a hibernated state, preventing the absorption of chemotherapeutic drugs into the hair bulbs of the scalp.

The process can be costly, averaging around $600 per month for rental of the caps.  Most insurers do not cover the cost, but there have been cases where cooling caps are covered in lieu of wig costs.

To read the complete New York Times article on chemo cooling caps, click here.

Join the conversation! Is anyone using the cold cap? WOULD you use one?  Follow the PBCC on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!